The average size of our weekly rides at Woburn is 10; usually a mix of 7 men and 3 ladies. So to see 18 women rock up and take part in our ladies mountain bike weekend was amazing!
The weekend came about after a conversation with Sandy from GirlBikeVan about doing a collaboration weekend. We got our heads together and came up with the idea of a competition for women to enter and win a weekend of mountain biking and skills coaching. The Saturday would begin with a coaching session followed by a ride around the Woburn trails and Sunday a fun day at Chicksands Bike Park and, in true GBV style, there would be camping.
The lovely guys from MTB Instruction agreed to help us out and boy did they deliver! Saturday morning started with their core skills loop where they take everything back to basics.
They kicked off with balance and speed control and to put a fun element to it, a slow race where we got to practice track stands. Keeping with balance MTB Instruction had put together some balance boards which started off in a low straight line and then, as we became more proficient, these were kinked and raised until eventually we ended up with a kicker to experience drops. Next came the seesaw, time to really put balance skills to the test!
We then moved onto bike control. The guys had set up a slalom course from cones; first run through we were told not to use any brakes, then next run through with brakes so we could feel the difference between being in and out of control on your bike. The cones were later moved further apart so we could practice foot placement and flat corners.
The skills loop was an excellent start to the day. The games helped everyone relax and gave us the opportunity to meet each other. Having the skills loop outside of the woods let us practice our skills in a controlled environment and gave us the confidence to head off on the trails. Next stop, lunch!
After lunch we headed up to Woburn Bike Park. Here we sessioned some berms and for those that wanted to push their skills a little further some gaps and drops. A pedal out of the bike park and across to some rooty descents, technical downhill sections and back towards the car park for drops, gaps and some spectacular log drop gymnastics from Anna.
Wow what a day, everyone was smiling after a great day on their bikes.
Sunday morning started with a warm up on the dual slalom at Chicksands. I’ve only ever seen this many women at Chicksands once, and that was on a race day. There were quite a few complimentary comments about how good it was to see so many women out riding and they didn’t seem to mind the queue we caused at the start ramp! The group then naturally split into smaller groups to session different parts of the park and practice features they wanted to improve; rooty descents, drops, gaps.
Before we knew it it was time for lunch and the famous Thai van and Flow goodie bags for all the ladies. We then proceeded to take over the car park as the ladies tried on kit from Flow MTB. Sadly it was then time to say goodbye to new friends and the end of an awesome weekend.
A big thank you to:
Sandy from GirlBikeVan for helping coordinate and generally being an amazing women and getting out there and inspiring others to ride. Check out the GirlBikeVan Facebook page for details of rides near you.
Mark for all the photos of us in action and making us look rad!
All the ladies that took part and made the weekend what it was; a cracking weekend packed with fun and adrenaline